News

Man paralyzed in police shooting has died

Officer who fired shots was indicted in 2011

EL PASO, Texas - The man who was left paralyzed from the neck down after being shot by an officer with the El Paso Police Department five years ago has died.

The father of Andres Cortez, who was 20 years old at the time he was shot, confirmed with ABC-7 Monday that his son stopped breathing last week while at Providence Memorial Hospital.

Elias Cortez told ABC-7 an autopsy will be performed on his son.

The shooting happened in 2010. 

An internal investigation by EPPD found that off-duty officer Jorge Gonzalez and his girlfriend, fellow officer Michelle Gonzalez, were on Gateway West near Yarbrough when they were rear-ended by Cortez.

According to the investigation, Cortez tried to drive off and almost ran over Michelle Gonzalez.

Jorge Gonzalez had said that prompted him to shoot Cortez in the neck.

While internal investigations cleared Gonzalez of any wrongdoing, a grand jury indicted him in 2011.

During a news conference, police chief Greg Allen commented on the indictment shortly after it was handed down.

"My concern is that it might send a chilling effect to the officers in the field due to the fact it may make them question their actions in a time of critical need," he had said.

ABC-7 has confirmed that Gonzalez is still with the police force, but is on "desk duty."

Gonzalez was involved in another case in which he fired his weapon in March 2011.

Police had told ABC-7, Gonzalez was attempting to pull over a vehicle on I-10 near Porfirio Diaz in West El Paso. The driver came to a stop on the UTEP campus, but then, according to police, the driver tried running over Gonzalez before taking off. 

Police said Gonzalez fired two shots, neither of which hit the driver.

ABC-7 also reported on an incident in March 2014 involving Gonzalez and a group of bicyclists. The cyclists had cell phone video of a man on a motorcycle who sped through their group as they crossed a street against the light. The bicyclists told ABC-7 the man identified himself as an off-duty police officer and proceeded to try detaining some of the bikers. 

While members of the bike group said Gonzalez almost hit some cyclists with his motorcycle, three of the bikers were detained -- but not arrested.

According to the El Paso Times, Gonzalez's court case involving Andres Cortez has been delayed four times since the 2011 indictment.


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